As a longtime supporter of reforms to our transportation infrastructure that improve safety and convenience for all users, I am pleased that the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) is moving forward with plans to establish a Bike Share network. I am also gratified that the agency has proactively consulted communities Citywide as it identifies sites for bike stations, and has given special consideration to the needs of New Yorkers with disabilities.
Nearly two years ago, I wrote to DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and met with Manhattan Borough Commissioner Margaret Forgione to urge the agency to initiate a review process through which to analyze the projected impacts of its initiatives on the accessibility of affected areas. I am encouraged that the agency has taken this request to heart. Recently, when my office reached out to DOT with concerns raised by advocates for people with disabilities that the setbacks for the bike stations—from cellar doors, building entrances, etc.—might not be wide enough for wheelchair access, DOT responded that they will, in fact, be even wider than the setbacks currently required for bus shelters. Likewise, while the agency is considering on-street bike stations that would be located in general metered parking spaces and certain no-standing zones, it is committed to not using spaces that are uniquely available to disabled drivers with special parking permits.
I will continue to monitor the implementation of the Bike Share program, and I appreciate DOT’s efforts to ensure that it is a welcome initiative for cyclists and pedestrians alike, disabled and non-disabled.